Coworking is King!
Coworking has moved from the coasts to the Twin Cities and is in full swing. From local to national operators and from single site to multi-site, the move to coworking continues. Our count shows over thirty-four coworking locations in Minneapolis St. Paul and this is rapidly growing. And, the trend is beyond the Twin Cities with expansion into Rochester, Mankato, Duluth, Bemidji, Northfield, Redwing, and Wilmar.
What is coworking and why the trend?
Coworking is collaborative workspace that provides both open and dedicated space along with amenities such as conference rooms, mail services, networking opportunities and, most often, really good (and free!) coffee to its members. Most coworking space is general office in nature but is moving to specialized product from food to maker space. Coworking is a community first and foremost, and real estate space second.
Coworking space is the next generation after hot desks, virtual working and the like. It may even change the pace and need of standard office space in the future (we think it will).
The User Perspective
KimbleCo employees are coworking members and we can attest to its benefits. It is flexible. You can buy memberships ranging from month-to-month or longer. No requirement to sign a long term commitment. The pricing is right with a variety of programs matching needs with pricing. And you can grow into a variety of use types within the space. Starting with open, non-dedicated workspace to dedicated, private offices for a person or a team as you grow over time. There is a wide variety of space aesthetics among the various coworking spaces but most provide an atmosphere conducive to creative working and thinking and collaboration when desired (meaning your need for privacy is honored unless you invite or participate in the collaboration).
We get to meet other really cool companies and have an opportunity to network and grow with them. There is a noticeable vibe and energy in good coworking space. Business development and collaboration happen organically here. It’s a trusting environment where laptops are left behind if you run out to lunch. Often, friendly dogs are nearby for a quick pet that calms any stress and grounds you back into reality. And did we mention the great coffee and ad hoc snack times where people from all business backgrounds congregate now and then throughout the week to network?
And then there are the available conference rooms, printing, and mail and support services if needed.
It is not uncommon to see individual workers, small companies and Fortune 500 companies in the same space. Fortune 500? Yes, the space is inspiring and a great place to put teams on special projects! It can provide corporate expansion space with great flexibility. It can house a corporation's virtual workers as needed.
Conference room amenities are available to the general public for a fee. But be careful, once you are in there, you will want to stay!
The Owner/Developer Perspective
If you are a building owner, why should you consider developing coworking space? One, it is what users are looking for. Two, there are multiple revenue streams. Three, while the rental contracts are shorter in term, the revenue per square foot is a multiple of standard office space! It fits with the typical commercial real estate risk/reward scenario. Less certain future in terms of lease term equals more risk but with opportunity for higher returns.
KimbleCo is working on numerous coworking assignments for both users and owners/developers. There is much more to know to achieve success beyond the quick summaries above. We would love to share our coworking expertise with you, give us a call (612-670-8552).